BIRD Aerosystems, the developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, Unveils the ASIO Holistic Solution: a complete end-to-end special mission task force solution tailored for maritime and ground surveillance missions. ASIO Holistic Solution is an advanced multi-layered solution that provides a multidimensional approach to combat diverse security threats within the maritime and ground domain. It is managed from a...
HENSOLDT UK has supplied a radar suite consisting of Kelvin Hughes Mk11 S and X Band radar systems to the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal, recently delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries. The SharpEye Mk11 radars are approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and take advantage of the Kelvin Hughes’ advanced solid state SharpEye Doppler technology that brings full situational awareness to the users even in the most severe weather conditions. The solid-state SharpEye t...
The French authorities have renewed the maintenance contract of the French Coastal Surveillance System, SPATIONAV, building on an over 20 yearlong successful collaboration between the French Navy and Airbus for safer oceans. Since 2002, Airbus develops, deploys and maintains the SPATIONAV system, under the supervision of the DGA (French General Armament Directorate) for the programme direction and the SSF (Service de Soutien de la Flotte) for the sustainment, to support the French authorities ga...
HENSOLDT’s newly developed airborne multi-mission surveillance radar PrecISR™1000 has successfully completed its maiden flight. In a one-week flight campaign together with H3 Mission Systems GmbH based in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, the radar proved its value in terms of simple integration and performance. Thanks to its simple industry standard interfaces, and to the excellent support of an experienced mission aircraft team at H3, the aircraft was modified and the radar was inte...
The sensor solution provider HENSOLDT presents at this year’s Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London a new variant of its successful SharpEye naval radar series. The Mk 5 radar is the first open array 80W SharpEye navigation radar especially aimed at the smaller military vessels that require full capability with limited space availability. The new radar is on display on the HENSOLDT booth, No. S3-200 at DSEi 2019. SharpEye radars have been fitted to mor...
Northrop Grumman Corporation will demonstrate multi-domain capabilities that support the defence and security of the U.K., Europe and allies at the 20th Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) event on September 10-13 2019. Autonomous defence systems The Northrop Grumman stand (S5-200) will feature interactive demonstrations of next generation mission and aerospace systems, maritime situational awareness and integrated air and missile defence. Some of the advanced systems on disp...
Renowned sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT will expand its industrial footprint in the UK by strengthening its subsidiary Kelvin Hughes Ltd., and renaming it HENSOLDT UK. HENSOLDT has acquired Kelvin Hughes in 2017 and created a security solutions product line at Kelvin Hughes’ Enfield site. System solutions “We are expanding our activities in the UK and will bring together our existing portfolio with Kelvin Hughes’ offerings,” said Thomas Müller, CEO of HENSOLDT. “In this way we are creating comprehensive system solutions which will boost our UK business significantly”. Kelvin Hughes and HENSOLDT have shaped the radar market for seven decades" “Kelvin Hughes and HENSOLDT have shaped the radar market for seven decades,” said Russell Gould, Managing Director of Kelvin Hughes. “Bringing together our products under one brand name will increase our visibility in the market and will open up additional business opportunities.” Radar and camera sensors Kelvin Hughes, with approximately 200 employees, designs, produces and markets radar sensors mainly for maritime and security applications. Among their products is the SharpEye solid state high performance pulse Doppler radar family as well as the CxEye Command and Control software that allows the integration of multiple radar and camera sensors into a comprehensive sensor package. The company generates revenues of more than €30 million. Their products are used by more than 30 navies and coastguards worldwide.
Sensor solutions supplier, HENSOLDT has successfully passed certification of their MSSR 2000 I identification system (MSSR = Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar) by the AIMS Program Office of the US Department of Defense. IFF identification devices This implies that HENSOLDT is the first company outside of the USA to fulfill this critical prerequisite for delivering IFF devices (IFF = Identification Friend or Foe) for the upcoming conversion of all NATO identification systems to the future “Mode 5” standard without any discrepancies. AIMS certification is mandatory for non-NATO countries whose forces are deployed together with NATO nations in joint missions. The current certification confirms that the MSSR 2000 I is both interoperable and reliable when used to identify NATO or allied forces in accordance with the future NATO standard Mode 5 and all previous modes (1, 2, 3/A, C, 4, S). HENSOLDT’s other IFF products have also successfully achieved the AIMS certification process. International AIMS certification IFF systems allow ships and aircraft to be identified precisely by automatically sending interrogation signals The International AIMS Program Office of the US Department of Defense is the only organisation worldwide that certifies the interoperability and technical performance of radar and IFF systems. IFF systems allow ships and aircraft to be identified precisely by automatically sending interrogation signals, which are answered by so-called transponders on board friendly units. Field commanders are thus able to quickly distinguish friendly from hostile forces. High-tech encryption techniques Unlike Mode 4 used hitherto, the future Mode 5 standard employs state-of-the-art encryption techniques to avoid hostile manipulation of the signal and to thus prevent the enemy from tampering with the identification process. By 2020, all NATO states and their partner nations will need to have switched to the new, secure Mode 5 technology version. Moreover, countries cooperating with NATO troops will also have to guarantee compatibility with the new standard. ATC, identification systems supplier HENSOLDT supplies customers all over the world with air traffic control and identification systems for military and civilian applications. Its MSSR 2000 I secondary radar is deployed for military friend-or-foe identification by the US and NATO allied countries all over the world. In the US, HENSOLDT has a long lasting and successful relationship with LOCKHEED MARTIN, using MSSR 2000 I worldwide on their FPS-117,TPS-77 and Multi-Role Radar (MRR) air defense radars since years.
Digital Harmonic, an innovative signal and image processing company founded by Paul Reed Smith, announces the appointment of Mason Baron as Chief Technology Officer. AI, surveillance reconnaissance Baron brings 18 years of software development, large team leadership, artificial intelligence, machine learning, surveillance reconnaissance systems design, and imagery, signal, and radar processing experience to Digital Harmonic. Most recently, he served as Minotaur Chief Naval Architect at Alion Science and Technology. Before Alion, Baron was Chief Engineer of Battle Force Projects at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he was a principal designer, lead developer and lead engineer for the Ocean Surveillance Initiative and Minotaur Mission Management System. Mason fielded several significant improvements to airborne surface search radar, video, signal and multi-intelligence data fusion processing that set the current state of the art. Having Mason join us is an important acknowledgment of our existing technology" Advanced imagery “We have developed two foundational technologies with a solid patent portfolio that enable us to provide a leading-edge capability in multiple market segments and are creating waves in the market with novel approaches to both signal and image processing,” says Digital Harmonic’s CEO, Scott Haiges. “Having Mason join us is an important acknowledgment of our existing technology and brings us very high-level expert experience in furthering our capabilities. We look forward to working with Mason on our technology advancements each and every day.” Video processing for surveillance “Digital Harmonic has developed uniquely advanced imagery and signal processing technology. PurePixel fills a critical void in video processing for surveillance that improves the performance of all downstream processing and exploitation and increases the range of effectiveness of existing sensors," said Baron. "I'm excited to help bring these technologies to bear on the most challenging sensing problems across the military, law enforcement, commercial, and medical domains.” Baron holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University, and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
CLS is proud to introduce at Interpol World Singapore 2019 its brand-new Maritime Awareness System, a unique state-of-the-art platform for maritime intelligence. Extracting actionable Intelligence More and more data are available in the maritime domain today, making it quite possible to monitor large and remote areas. But without the proper tools to extract the information that matters, sheer quantities of data are frightening, overwhelming - and unusable. Thanks to its brand-new MAS platform, CLS gives a key tool to extract actionable intelligence from large quantities of data at a glance. Big data & machine learning CLS’ Maritime Awareness System (MAS) relies on big data CLS’ Maritime Awareness System (MAS) relies on big data, allowing one to receive, store, process and query in real-time huge volumes of different types of data: AIS, SAT-AIS, LRIT, VMS, SAR and optical imagery or ship information. These data are the basis for performing real-time or historical surveillance on an area, fleet, or vessel of interest - and for raising alerts upon events or specific behaviours. Automated detection & data security Based on 30 years’ experience working with the maritime industry, CLS developed algorithms to perform automated detection of ship’s behaviour and to ensure integrity and quality of data. A Trusted Solution for all kind of illegal acts at sea MAS is a trusted solution, helping those who need the right information at the right time for the best decision with an unquestioned level of security & reliability.
BIRD Aerosystems, global developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has announced plans to officially launch the OSCAR - Ocean Surveillance Control and Reconnaissance solution, and demonstrate it for the first time at the Paris Air Show 2019. Maritime Domain Awareness Combined with a secure over-the-cloud deployment and multi-sensor integration, OSCAR is an affordable and quick to deploy Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) solution delivering real-time intelligence and threat assessments for the vessels within the country’s areas of interest. Alongside the OSCAR, BIRD will also present its SPREOS DIRCM in its latest production configuration. "Fully autonomous and personally customised for the needs of each customer, BIRD's OSCAR solution drives operational costs down and detection probabilities up, and I am confident that it will be a real game-changer in the field of maritime surveillance and patrol" says Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Bird Aerosystems. BIRD’s OSCAR is an ideal solution for a nation’s maritime protection needs "The OSCAR Solution and the SPREOS DIRCM are two of our latest innovative and advanced solutions, that demonstrate BIRD's unique capability of combining operational know-how with high-end technology and engineering capability. We are happy to present them at the 2019 Paris Air Show". Machine-learning algorithms BIRD’s OSCAR is an ideal solution for a nation’s maritime protection needs, as it provides 24/7 protection of the maritime domain and Tier 1 Level of prevention against illegal activities at sea such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, oil theft, smuggling and illegal transshipment, as well as for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring. BIRD Aerosystems will also present its patented Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System DIRCM Fully autonomous and advanced multi-sensor system, OSCAR applies machine-learning algorithms on real-time data sources such as satellite and terrestrial AIS, satellite SAR/EO/IR, LRIT, coastal radars, tactical sensors and more, and uses it to detect, analyse and prioritise suspicious vessels while providing automatic alerts to the user once these threats are found. Autonomous multi-sensor system Once OSCAR detects potential threats, it plans an effective flight plan for the ASIO special mission aircraft which is then loaded into the MSIS mission management system to enable an effective surveillance mission. Additionally, during the mission OSCAR receives the real-time tactical sensor data of the aircraft which is then further analysed and detect additional possible threats. BIRD Aerosystems will also present its patented Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System (SPREOS) DIRCM, which combines a radar-based confirmation sensor and an active laser jammer to ensure optimal protection against different MANPADS threat types. The patented SPREOS uniquely performs threat confirmation to ensure zero false alarms hence jamming will be activated only once the threat has been confirmed and analysed.
Larson Electronics, a Texas-based company with over 40 years of experience in spearheading the industrial lighting and equipment sectors, has announced the release of an explosion proof 1080p analog submersible camera for underwater monitoring in freshwater environments. This unit can be submerged up to 50 feet and is available in a fixed lens configuration and has a 3.6mm 90-degree lens for wide-area viewing. Explosion-proof analogue cameras The EXPCMR-SWP.FW-ALG-1080P-IC-1227-12.7-100C explosion proof 1080p analog camera provides operators with a live feed of underwater environments in freshwater hazardous locations. This unit can operate remotely from a centralised control room and features an infrared LED array for lowlight and nighttime visibility. The camera automatically switches over to IR mode when lux levels drop below present level and a true Day/Night infrared cut-off filter removal creates a sharp image transmitting with zero latency to HD resolution through a metal clad coax cable to customer-provided DVR systems. Underwater monitoring and surveillance Larson Electronics’ explosion proof camera features a pressure-resistant 316 stainless-steel body and features 1 lux sensitivity and a 2-wire transmitter with a stainless-steel mounting bracket. This unit also features a built-in color CCD camera and a 1/3” CCD sensor. The lens features a 28-degree to 60-degree viewing angle with a minimum lens-to-object distance of 3.15” and is rated for use in Class I, Divisions 1 and 2, Groups B, C and D; Class I, Zones 1 and 2, Groups IIB+H2 and IIA, Class II, Divisions 1 and 2, Groups E, F and G; and Class II, Divisions 1 and 2. This unit comes with 100 feet of 12/5 SOOW pre-wired cord and Kellum cord grip to provide power and video signal to the camera. This unit can be mounted to flat surfaces via the provided flat surface brackets. This unit is suitable for use in underwater operations in fresh water, underwater monitoring, remote observation of external facilities, and more.
The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol. An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet. When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range. -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.
As the technology in omnidirectional cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market Just a few years ago, omnidirectional cameras were a novelty. Today, however, this technology has taken the leap to the mainstream. Think about how ubiquitous Google’s Street View is, and you can gain a better idea of the power of omnidirectional cameras. Even consumers are starting to see many forms of omnidirectional cameras, from 360-degree lenses on SLRs to 360-degree video from action cameras. To that end, 360-degree cameras represent one of the strongest areas of growth in surveillance technology, with global unit shipments forecasted by IHS to increase by more than 60 percent year-on-year. Omnidirectional vs. traditional cameras Both 360- and 180-degree surveillance cameras offer panoramic views, helping reduce the number of traditional narrow field-of-view cameras needed in a single installation. Omnidirectional cameras can also be used in concert with PTZ cameras, or replace them entirely depending on the application. Not only does this help increase situational awareness, it decreases the overall cost of the cameras, installation and maintenance. Compared to PTZ cameras, omnidirectional cameras have the advantage of being able to pan, tilt and zoom around in both live, as well as stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time, ensuring incidents can be resolved quickly and efficiently, and at the same time, go back to stored 360-degree video to conduct investigations. The option for 180- and 360-degree coverage from a single camera is delivered via a specialised lens on one sensor or a camera that integrates with multiple sensors with conventional lenses aligned to provide an ultra-wide-angle coverage. Single-lens or “fisheye” cameras use a specialised lens called a fisheye lens, which, when compared to a conventional lens, employs different optical design techniques that can lead to the distortion of the captured image when viewing beyond a 90-degree horizontal field-of-view. With this, “barrel distortion” can occur, where a circular image is created and a straight line within the captured image appears curved. ‘Dewarping’ software has to be used to correct this optical illusion. As a consequence of lens design idiosyncrasies in 180- and 360-degree fisheye cameras, either an oval or circular shaped imaged is created. Since image sensors used in surveillance cameras are square or rectangular, some parts of the sensor are not used. Increasingly affordable solutions As the technology in these types of cameras continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly more affordable to a wider segment of the video surveillance market. Similarly, higher resolutions and more affordable storage for video data make it more affordable to get increased amounts of coverage and detail at the same time. As mentioned previously, cost savings can also be realised when a single 360-degree camera replaces three to four fixed cameras, a result that can be recreated in other areas or departments within an organisation to help realise additional cost savings. Fisheye vs. multi-sensor Fisheye and multi-sensor cameras both create panoramic images, but do so in very different ways. Fisheye cameras capture the whole scene in a single view without having to stitch images, so the full view of the captured video footage has consistent brightness, sharpness and contrast across the entire scene. Fisheye cameras also offer a number of other benefits: higher reliability as a result of a single sensor, camera and lens arrangement; no blind spots; fixed focus, making installation quicker; lower cost; and a smaller, less obtrusive form factor. Additionally, the dewarping of the image is carried out in the video management system or network video recorder, allowing for higher frame rates at any given bandwidth. Omnidirectional cameras can pan, tilt and zoom around in both live and stored video, which means operators can pinpoint problems in real-time However, fisheye cameras may have fewer pixels per foot, depending on the total resolution, and these types of cameras require client-side dewarping to gain the full benefits of retrospective image adjustment – that is, dewarping of stored video for investigations. Multi-sensor cameras, on the other hand, may offer a higher total resolution depending on the individual resolution of each of the sensors within the camera. Here, dewarping is not required since each sensor is, in essence, a narrow field-of-view camera. Multi-sensor cameras, however, have more than one sensor, which can lead to an overall higher maintenance costs, and with four or more cameras needed to cover a specific area, there is an increased risk that one or more of the sensors can malfunction — in essence, lower reliability. Installation of multi-sensor cameras is also more complicated and more time-intensive. Additionally, the units themselves can be large and bulky, and complex to operator and manage — each view has to be stitched together, which means captured images have to be carefully calibrated with the correct brightness, colour, contrast and sharpness for the image to be as clear and seamless as it needs to be for viewing and evidentiary purposes. Other possible considerations include: additional licensing fees for each camera connected to an NVR or VMS, total frame rate is generally lower and bandwidth usage will be high. Also, storage costs are higher. As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation Dewarping images If a camera sends a 360-degree image, the VMS software has to dewarp the image so that users can get normal views while electronically PTZ’ing around in the image. This is called “client-side” dewarping. With client-side dewarping, images can be dewarped retrospectively — that is, stored video can be dewarped, enabling users to forensically analyse a scene after the fact. The result is that investigations can be carried on as if the video were being watched in real time, making the data indispensable to investigators examining the details of a crime or security breach. Not only does this approach deliver new levels of situational awareness, but it also allows officials to use the data to examine additional areas of interest. The virtual PTZ function can only be experienced via client-side dewarping for stored video, and it can also be run on still images. Additionally, different parts of the image might be useful for different applications that are hard to predict in advance. For example, a merchandiser may want to zoom in and look at signage or an end cap after the fact to gain better insight into the business. Client-side dewarping may also be run on mobile devices, on either live or on stored video. One challenge of client-side dewarping is that VMS and NVR platforms have to support this function. There are already a large number of platforms that support this functionality because of end user demand. On the other hand, camera-side dewarping does not require a VMS/NVR platform to integrate this function. Camera-side dewarping means you can only virtually PTZ around in a live scene, which is the same as using a motorised PTZ camera – and this function requires an operator to manually navigate and record what the camera sees. Once these views are fixed, a user may only see those views in stored footage, severely limiting the possibility of being able to capture a wider scene for analysis. This means there may be more blind spots in live and stored video depending on how the views are configured. Evaluating technology implemented As businesses look to increase situational awareness by investing in omnidirectional cameras, it’s important to carefully evaluate the technology being implemented and various options before moving forward with an implementation. There are a number of pros and cons to dewarping software and the views within the cameras to consider. But, with higher resolutions and more efficient dewarping/stitching technologies, omnidirectional cameras may soon replace narrow field-of-view and PTZ cameras in a number of vertical markets, including transportation, retail, education, banking and finance, maritime, leisure and gaming, ushering in a new era of total situational awareness with a wealth of data and insight yet untapped.
Stowaway incidents in the last two months in the United Kingdom have dramatised the desperate nature of individual attempts to cross borders. They have also exposed the callous methods of human traffickers. Sixty-eight foreign nationals were discovered in four lorries at the port of Harwich on the south coast of England in June after the vehicles had disembarked from a Stena Line ferry entering English waters from Holland. None of the group, which included 15 children and two pregnant women, sustained significant injuries, but seven were taken to hospital. They had been allegedly hiding among washing machines, and four Polish truck drivers are under arrest on suspicion of facilitating an attempt at illegal immigration. The incident has parallels with the discovery of 35 Afghan Sikh migrants in a container at the nearby Tilbury Docks in August 2014 and the horrifying memory of 15 years ago when 58 Chinese people died in a lorry at the port of Dover in Kent. Early detection So what equipment is available from the physical security industry to deter stowaways and, at worst, to detect them at the earliest point of their attempted journey, be it in cargo vessel containers, in lorries within ferries, inside aircraft and even on the underside of aircraft? I mention this final bizarre method since, literally as I type, authorities at London Heathrow Airport have found a stowaway within the undercarriage of a plane that has travelled the 8,000 miles from Johannesburg. He has survived the journey (which would have involved temperatures as low as –60 degrees C or –76 degrees F) but is in a critical condition. Another stowaway was found dead on the roof of a building below the Heathrow flight path. Police are refusing to link the incidents as yet but the weight of evidence suggests they are related. Perimeter fencing may have been breached in the case of the plane stowaways who must somehow have accessed the restricted “airside” area of O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg. But perimeter protection can be discounted as irrelevant to the Harwich seaport incidents since it appears likely that the drivers accused of abetting the sea-bound migrants allowed them to enter the vehicles, and did so prior to the ship leaving the port. Low-energy x-ray scanning, typically using a 300kV source, is one of many practical techniques that even allow drivers and passengers to remain in a vehicle while it is inspected. One would hope incidents of the kind at Harwich might see more port operators willing to absorb the major initial capital investment and high running costs in order to demonstrate vigilance. The International Maritime Organisation has quoted anecdotal evidence that South Africa is seen as an onward departure point for container ships travelling to Europe Technological advances As a veteran correspondent in this sector, one thing that encourages me is seeing product developers operating in disparate areas in order to achieve the same goal. I recently spoke to a consultant friend who had completed a job at a high-security jail in New South Wales. He reported how, soon after vacating their truck for an inspection as they left the jail, contractors made an off-colour joke to the effect that they might have an inmate hidden in the vehicle. The prison governor happened to be watching and snapped back that his technology could detect the heartbeat of a mouse inside the truck. This was no exaggeration, and he was describing a system whereby micro sensors and cables detect miniscule movement and vibrations transmitted to the vehicle’s suspension system in a process that is similar to the electrocardiograms that medics use to measure the intensity of cardiac electrical signals. A limiting factor to this approach is that it is suited to cars and trucks by virtue of the fact that they are cushioned from the ground by shock absorbers, springs and rubber tyres so preventing the earth (or the sea in the case of a ship) from acting as a vibrational damper. Scrutinising cargo from boats or freight trains is eminently achievable, but the containers must first be removed and placed on a gantry frame device that replicates the cushioning effect of a road vehicle. Various technological approaches must be used in concert according to environment and the type of threat from stowaways and would-be illegal migrants. In the UK, the Home Office imposes mandatory fines of £2,000 on drivers for each stowaway and may also fine the vehicle’s owner. A plea of ignorance from the driver is not countenanced by authorities who expect general vigilance. A technology that can be used by both truck drivers and marine ports is measurement of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a suspect shipping container or lorry. Probes can be inserted into vehicles without alerting stowaways, and major manufacturers can measure CO2 at levels down to 10,000 parts per million. A distressing aspect to the plight of marine stowaways is that they frequently run out of water and food during their attempted journeys Curbing illegal immigration A distressing aspect to the plight of marine stowaways is that they frequently run out of water and food during their attempted journeys but must remain concealed in inaccessible hiding places. Currently, the port of Durban is a favourite destination for illegal migrants on journeys from South America, and while recent figures are not available, a staggering 32 stowaways were found in Durban in the months of March and April 2014 alone. The International Maritime Organisation has quoted anecdotal evidence that South Africa is seen as an onward departure point for container ships travelling to Europe. The United Kingdom remains a favoured destination, with illegal immigrants making final “short haul” journeys from northern France often in cars and small vans as opposed to lorries. The BBC has just reported that in the 12 months up to June 2015, a staggering 100 Britons have been jailed in France for people-smuggling through a single port, Calais. The security sector’s varied technical resources discussed here should easily outstrip the determination and ingenuity of people traffickers. However, in a time of budgetary austerity throughout the public sector, our industry must continually demonstrate to purchasing managers how evolving products can prevent major incidents such as the deaths at Tilbury, west London and Durban. The most disturbing thought is how many large-scale trafficking incidents (possibly involving risk to life) may be going undetected every day.
Globally renowned sensor solutions provider, HENSOLDT will equip the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel “Svalbard” with the latest version of its TRS-3D naval radar and MSSR 2000 IIFF System. This is already the second upgrade contract from the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency as HENSOLDT is already under contract to equip the three new Arctic Coast Guard Vessels in the P6615 Program with the upgraded radar and IFF system. TRS-3D naval radar system Under both contracts worth more than € 27 m HENSOLDT will deliver four TRS-3D radars including the latest solid-state technology and signal processing software and will deliver them from 2021, in parallel to the building program of the new Arctic Coast Guard vessels. The TRS-3D includes a secondary radar MSSR 2000 I for Identification-friend-or-foe (IFF). It operates all current IFF modes, including the latest “Mode S/Mode 5 Level 1/2” standard answering the most recent NATO requirements. Our TRS-3D naval radar is an extremely reliable radar, particularly suited for littoral missions" “Our TRS-3D naval radar is an extremely reliable radar, particularly suited for littoral missions”, said HENSOLDT CEO Thomas Müller. “We are taking the upgrade contract of the Norwegian Coast Guard as proof of the customer’s satisfaction with our product and services”. Air and sea surveillance TRS-3D is a three-dimensional multimode naval radar for air and sea surveillance. It includes the ability to correlate plots and tracks of targets with the MSSR 2000 I identification system for automatic identification of vessels and aircraft which is essential to avoid friendly fire and to establish a comprehensive situation picture. It is used for automatically locating and tracking all types of air and sea targets and safe guidance of on-board helicopters. Thanks to its signal processing technologies, the TRS-3D is particularly suited for the early detection of low flying or slow moving objects under extreme environmental conditions. Naval surveillance and security More than 50 units of the radar are in operation with naval forces around the world. Among the ships equipped are frigates and corvettes of the German Navy, the US Coast Guard National Security Cutters and the "Squadron 2000" patrol boats of the Finnish Navy.
EchoGuard receives FCC Equipment Authorisation allowing widespread deployment of the radar for security, surveillance, and airspace management applications. EchoGuard radar Echodyne, the manufacturer of innovative, high-performance radars for government and commercial markets, announces that it has received approval from the FCC for widespread deployment of its EchoGuard radar for radiolocation and radionavigation in the United States. FCC Equipment Authorisation allows the radar to be used throughout the US for ground, airspace surveillance The FCC Equipment Authorisation allows the radar to be used throughout the United States for ground and airspace surveillance applications that detect and track potential security threats with high accuracy and for ground-based airspace management applications that ensure safe navigation of commercial drone missions. Electronically Scanning Array radar Echodyne's innovative metamaterials technology and powerful software combine to create an electronically scanning array (ESA) radar in a compact, solid-state format at commercial price points for the very first time. The radar has been demonstrating award-winning performance for government, law enforcement, security, and UAS / UTM customers for some time via experimental licenses. "We are excited that EchoGuard has received this authorisation allowing its widespread adoption in the US," said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. "With the growing number of troubling drone incursions at airports, stadiums, and other facilities, there is tremendous demand for high-performance radar sensors. Tackling drone threats Eben adds, "Our innovative radar technology and software greatly increases the ability for security systems to accurately detect and track drone threats, as well as improves ground tracking of people, vehicles, and vessels. Our radar outperforms every other radar in its class, is priced for commercial markets, and has proven to be the best mid-range surveillance radar in the market." Features of the EchoGuard high-performance radar include: True electronic beam-steering with market-leading C-SWaP attributes; Long-range detection with high reliability and accurate tracking of multiple, concurrent air and ground targets; and Easy integration into sensor fusion and security systems for unmatched 3D situational awareness.
The sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT is equipping the second batch of the German Navy’s K130 corvettes with its TRS-4D Rotator naval radar and its MSSR 2000 I friend-or-foe identification system (IFF). Only six months after the order was placed, the company has now successfully passed the factory acceptance test by the German procurement authority BAAINBw for the second system. “With the TRS-4D, the corvettes are getting an extremely powerful radar system,” said HENSOLDT’s CEO Thomas Müller. “Since we have started to produce our radars in series a short time ago, we have been able to reduce the time required for delivery to our customers considerably.” Order for seven TRS-4D radars On board the new F125 frigate, the TRS-4D is used in a configuration comprising four fixed planar arraysHENSOLDT has orders for seven radars which are intended for five ships and two land-based systems and are to be delivered by 2022. The company had previously equipped the first K130 batch with its proven TRS-3D radar. For the second batch, the TRS-4D has now been ordered to be supplied in a version comprising a mechanically rotating antenna (TRS-4D Rotator), which is also under contract for the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS). On board the new F125 frigate, the TRS-4D is used in a configuration comprising four fixed planar arrays. This radar system is part of a family of products which also includes ground-based air defence radar, TRML-4D. It thus benefits from shorter production cycles, continuous product improvements as well as advantages in stock levels of spare parts and training. Quick detection and tracking of targets The TRS-4D Rotator has been designed to be used for anti-aircraft and anti-surface operations. Its rotating antenna combines mechanical and electronic azimuth scanning, which allows targets to be detected and tracked very quickly. Thanks to its higher sensitivity, the AESA radar allows more precise detection, especially of small and manoeuvering objects, as well as faster confirmation of the target, which means that the ship crew has more time to respond to threats. The system includes an MSSR 2000 I secondary radar for friend-or-foe identification (IFF) The radar can be specifically programmed according to the customer’s needs, and its characteristics can be changed via the software to match new requirements that arise during its useful life. The system also includes an MSSR 2000 I secondary radar for friend-or-foe identification (IFF), which complies with all IFF standards, even the latest ‘Mode S / Mode 5’. This is all the more important as all NATO troops and their allies are currently in the process of converting their IFF systems to Mode 5. The Mode 5 capability enables the troops to take part in joint and combined operations with NATO and other allied forces.
With its capacity of 32 million tons per year and water frontage of 6 kilometres, Chernomorsk sea port is one of the largest transport terminals in Ukraine, providing trade links with more than 100 countries all over the world. This port is a part of Eurasian transport corridor connecting the Western European countries, Ukraine, Georgia and the Asian countries. Its territory embodies the unique multimodal terminal that serves railway-ferry and auto-ferry lines as well as roll-on/roll-off vessels. The mission was to implement round-the-clock monitoring of the port territory and port waters in order to detect violations and prevent them. Monitoring in challenging light conditions PTZ cameras with integrated Axis Lightfinder technology are used for monitoring Experts from Inlimited suggested fitting the port with thermal technology platforms using 11 Axis network thermal cameras aboard (including models with two sensors: optic and thermal). PTZ cameras with integrated Axis Lightfinder technology are used, among others, for monitoring in challenging light conditions with low object contrast or difficult light sources. Thermal network cameras support guard tour function that can be used for continuous monitoring of a particular area according to the preset guard tour. In the context of modernisation, the existing port security system was extended with the following video surveillance solutions: computer-aided continuous visual monitoring of the water frontage, the adjacent port area and the port waters of Sukhyi Estuary, the area along the port perimeter as well as monitoring of vehicles (license plate recognition) and approaches to the mounting locations of the main cameras. Integrated video surveillance Centralised security service control centre offer video analysis capabilities. Video surveillance solutions integrated into a single software and hardware platform provide high-quality digital video real time record and store the archive for a minimum of 30 days. The integrator considered all the challenging conditions that cameras may encounter at sea and in the maritime area Integrated video surveillance and alarm system modernisation project developed by Inlimited Ltd. for Chernomorsk sea port is of strategic importance for the customer since it is aimed at increasing the reliability of the guard tours and critical infrastructure of the port and its entire water area. When developing the architectural concept, the integrator considered all the challenging conditions that cameras may encounter at sea and in the maritime area, such as hurricane hazards, lightning strikes, salt air impact, as well as restricted visibility due to fog, heavy rain, snowfall and direct sunlight. Installation of PTZ network cameras Thermal platforms with Axis PTZ network cameras installed on the top became the ultimate solution for the port. Optical and thermal sensors combined into one system is the specific feature of bispectral modules. With this capability, such a device can substitute a significant number of conventional optical cameras and partially the security alarm system. Hence, the extensive territory of the port was covered by turntables with a total of 11 Axis network cameras: bispectral, optical and outdoor. Due to the intelligent capabilities of Axis network cameras, a real-time detection signal is automatically transferred to operator screen, immediately providing a very clear image of an object and ensuring reliable detection under any visibility and weather conditions. Moreover, the system can also detect suspicious objects even before an intrusion attempt. Recognising person, car or watercraft We chose to go with Axis cameras because they are flexible and yet can be customised to solve particular problems"Automatic systems facilitate the work of security service operators displaying only actual violations, which helps to minimise the percentage of false responses. With this intelligent system, it is possible to immediately recognise a person, car or small-sized watercraft as well as detect possible smoke spread and other abnormal situations. Thus, the security staff has extra time to provide quick response. The video surveillance and alarm system of Chernomorsk sea port is integrated with IP-video control system Milestone Xprotect and vehicle license plate recognition system VIT AutoCode. “We chose to go with Axis cameras because they are flexible and yet can be customised to solve particular problems. Axis network cameras gained an excellent reputation as a part of the video surveillance system currently operating at the port and for this reason, we selected them again for additional security platforms,” noted the Chernomorsk sea port security service.
Videotec has extended its range of cameras that include the new DELUX imaging and encoding technology. It can now be found in models designed for surveillance in the Marine and Oil & Gas sectors, and significantly improves the day and night vision and competitiveness of these products. DELUX imaging and encoding technology After recently being integrated into the ULISSE COMPACT PTZ, DELUX technology is now available across the IP, PTZ and fixed cameras of the ex-proof and Marine lines, namely the MAXIMUS MPX, MVX AND NXPTZ. These models are well regarded on the market for their high-performance levels and operational efficiency in extreme environments and where there is a risk of explosion. DELUX technology brings increased light sensitivity, which means the cameras deliver very high-quality vision during the day or night, with clear high-definition images and incredibly well-defined colours – even in very low light conditions. The improved precision and image clarity provides immediate added value to outdoor surveillance applications Day/Night surveillance The improved precision and image clarity provides immediate added value to outdoor surveillance applications, especially in sensitive areas where the need to identify people, objects, moving vehicles and other events, day or night, is crucial. In addition to improved colour rendering and greater noise reduction, DELUX technology has brought new advanced PTZ performance, namely in the control of speed proportional to zoom and the management of Privacy Masking. High-performance solutions The DELUX technology has been developed end-to-end by Videotec’s R&D team and this has led to considerable reductions to the costs of these new camera models. Videotec’s DELUX products are therefore extremely competitive, and are complete high-performance solutions, reinforcing their prominent position in an increasingly demanding and selective international security market.
Finland’s foreign trade depends on shipping lanes and seaports that are ice-free, so the country operates the world's second-largest fleet of icebreakers. One of the latest ships, called Polaris, is equipped with Bosch video cameras and a Bosch Video Management System (BVMS) that ensure safe operations in some of the roughest cold weather that the planet has to offer. Polaris departs for the Bay of Bothnia – between Finland and Sweden – around the end of each year and stays there until the following May. During this period, the officers and crew under Captain Pasi Järvelin work 12 hours a day, 20 days at a time. The long shifts and challenging working conditions impose tough requirements on occupational safety. Cameras from the MIC series are used on deck, cameras from the FLEXIDOME and DINION series are used inside Bosch HD video cameras For safe, efficient work at sea, the Polaris uses high-definition cameras from Bosch. Cameras from the MIC series are used on deck, cameras from the FLEXIDOME and DINION series are used inside, for example in the engine room and engineering space. “We can investigate incidents by checking the recordings. This reduces the need for routine tours, in person, of various parts of the vessel. The exterior MIC cameras monitor the ice and the vessels for which we are breaking ice; the ones on the stern monitor distances to other vessels. Even under the arctic conditions of the Baltic Sea, the Bosch cameras work perfectly,” says Captain Järvelin. All the cameras and recording equipment are controlled and operated via the Bosch Video Management System (BVMS), which is rarely seen in marine applications. Focus, zoom, horizontal- and vertical-pitch features are indispensable, and the MIC cameras have wipers for adverse weather conditions that can be actuated from the bridge. At the top of the mast, a 360-degree MIC IP camera operates flawlessly, even in darkness. Bosch’s MIC IP cameras are ideal for extreme weather. They can stand up to high winds, rain, fog, 100 percent humidity, temperatures as low as -40°C to as high as +65°C, extreme vibrations, high impacts and even corrosion.
Round table discussion
Higher pixel count is better. It’s a basic tenet of the video surveillance market, or at least it is the implication as manufacturers continue to tout their latest products offering ever-higher pixel counts. But the reality is more nuanced, as our Expert Panel Roundtable panelists explain this week. Pixel count shouldn’t be seen as an end unto itself, but rather as a factor in determining what camera is applicable to which application. Pixel count is just one factor of several to consider, and the needs of the application must rule all decisions. We asked this week’s panel: How many megapixels are enough? At what point does additional resolution not matter, or not make economic sense?